Sight-saving resources to identify eye disease in Residential Aged Care Facilities
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Help us to evaluate the impact of these educational resources for residential aged care facilities (RACFs). We have developed them to help staff and families understand the visual needs of residents and better care for those with vision and blindness.
These digital training tools are designed to improve understanding of eye health and vision loss in Australia’s residential aged care facilities (RACFs).
Many people living in RACFs have vision problems. Sometimes, these problems have not been diagnosed or treated, or the staff are unaware of the risk factors or that the person with vision problems needs certain types of help.
Vision loss can have many negative consequences, including an increased risk of falls and hip fractures. It also has a significant impact on independence and quality of life.
With funding from the Australian Government, the Foundation – in collaboration with a team of experts – carried out eye tests on residents across eight RACFs. Our report
found an urgent need for reform of vision care within the residential aged care system and made some extraordinary findings:
• more than 70% of residents had some evidence of eye disease;
• around 30% had untreated cataracts;
• over 60% had some degree of age-related macular degeneration (the leading cause of blindness in people over 50); and
• a quarter were found to have low vision.
Despite these statistics, the report
found the use of vision aids – other than spectacles – was extremely low; and identified barriers in access to ophthalmology services.
The report included a summary of key findings
and a proposed model of care, which can be incorporated into the routine personal and clinical care of residents. The report also included recommendations to improve the management of vision and eye health in RACFs.
Macular Disease Foundation Australian CEO Dee Hopkins said: “While not mandatory, we hope that residential aged care facilities will incorporate these digital resources into their management systems and staff training programs. We also have for information for families and guardians.
“And our sincere hope is that our training video is shown to every care worker in the residential aged care system.”
The Macular Disease Foundation has further information and support for people with macular disease and vision loss. We also have a range of other resources for carers and health professionals.
The MDFA operates a Helpline - 1800 111 709 - and has a partnership program for healthcare professionals.
Download or view the Report: